Bayawan Nature Reserve
Bayawan Nature Reserve
Talarak has reached the final goal in any captive breeding effort to successfully release captive bred animals back into the wild. We have released groups of Visayan Spotted Deer, Visayan Warty Pigs, Visayan Hornbills, Negros Bleeding Heart Doves and more into the ~300ha forested site near the City of Bayawan, Negros Oriental.
As we have released these animals back into their wild habitats, it is our duty to monitor them and ensure they survive and thrive in the new environment. This monitoring has also allowed us to gain valuable knowledge in the lifestyles and behaviours of these species, as well as provided an insight into the bustling wild environment of the Bayawan Nature Reserve itself.
Several of our released spotted deer, warty pigs, bleeding hearts and hornbills were fitted with tracking devices that enable our research team to follow them in the field and observe; 1) where they go, 2) what they are doing, and 3) who they are interacting with. The warty pigs have shown their superior intelligence and managed to remove every tracking device attached to them, but the deer have been tracked a little longer. Unfortunately even in the deer these tracking collars also came within a year of being fitted because the males would break the collars during fighting. Our hornbill tracking devices are still working and provide invaluable information about the movements of our birds, especially which areas of the forest they are feeding in or sleeping in. With the bleeding hearts being the latest species to undergo the tracking program using tiny VHF telemetry tags.
In order to keep a watch over these animals and have another mode of monitoring the animals we have also put more than 20 remote camera traps in the reserve. These cameras are set to activate when animals move near them so we have been able to record lots of exciting footage of our released animals as well as the other animals in the reserve. It is because of these cameras we were able to see the reserve holds other elusive native species such as the Malay Civet, Philippine Long Tailed Macaque, Visayan Leopard Cat, Philippine Pita, and Visayan Monitor Lizard. Our camera traps have also been great sources of information regarding the health and development of our released animals. We are able to see when animals are injured or sick and take action to help them, but also when animals are pregnant or have given birth to new offspring.
Using these cameras we have been able to see our released animals are surviving AND thriving, with both the spotted deer and warty pigs having new babies in 2021 and 2022. Using our tracking devices on the released hornbills we are also able to see a newly formed pair which have started to nest in one of the artificial nest boxes we provided for them. All of these are signs of success for translocated animals and opportunities for our research team to learn more and more about these endangered species, with a hope that the knowledge we gain here can help conserve their wild cousins across the region.
If you would like to visit the Bayawan Nature Reserve or learn more about what we do there, please visit the Bayawan Nature Reserve facebook and instagram pages for more information. The reserve will be open to the public in late 2022 to accept day guests for a wild experience of native natural Negros.